tail biting

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griffin

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lately, my betta is really enjoying (i'm guessing from frequency :-\) tailbiting. he's basically biting off the ends of his tail, and he's starting on his upper fin now. i'm not sure what is causing this, as there havn't been any changes. he's well fed and taken care of. any ideas on how to get him to stop? is fungus or tailrot going to be a problem? i know that he's biting the tail off because i have seen it)

???
 

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There is someone else on this forum that has a betta that bites its tail. I can't remember who it is though. I'm sure they will comment when they see this topic. Yes, fin rot could be a problem.

How big is your tank? It might be biting its tail out of boredom. If you have a large enough tank (at least 3 gall+) you might need to make the decorations more interesting. Bettas need caves and soft plants to sleep on to be truely happy. Good luck finding a solution.

CherryRose
 
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hmm, it doesn't have fin rot yet (as far as i can tell) - should i go ahead and treat for fin rot? i'm thinking it might not be a good idea to treat for something that isn't there, but i also don't want my betta to get fin rot.

i don't have any caves, but i do have a lot of plants in there with it. it likes to go in between the plants a lot, playing around.

hopefully the other person will comment and maybe i can try what they did to solve this problem.

also, another question, is the tailbiting actually harmful to the betta if there's no fungus/finrot?
 

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I think that fin rot will unfailingly raise its ugly head unless you can get the betta to stop biting its tail. I don't know of any way to prevent it, but again, the member that has a fish with that problem may have a solution.

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If I remember correctly, the member who had a bettw with this problem, had the betta in a bowl. Once moving it to a larger, heated and filtered tank, the betta stopped the tail biting.

What kind of set up do you have??? What levels are the ammonia, nitrIte, and NitrAte ate???

As far as treating for fin rot.. I would wait until the fish has fin rot. In the mean while, I would try to keep the tank as clean as possible to try and prevent fin rot.

Sorry to answer your questions with more questions, but they should help lead us to a solution!
 

COBettaCouple

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griffin said:
lately, my betta is really enjoying (i'm guessing from frequency :-\) tailbiting. he's basically biting off the ends of his tail, and he's starting on his upper fin now. i'm not sure what is causing this, as there havn't been any changes. he's well fed and taken care of. any ideas on how to get him to stop? is fungus or tailrot going to be a problem? i know that he's biting the tail off because i have seen it)
???
One of our Bettas, Aslan, got into the mood to bite his tail for some reason (at the same time he started flaring at apparently nothing).. we're still not sure why as he's stopped doing it now and he's always been in a 10 gallon heated tank with filtration, has plants, a cave and a column to swim around.. we're ordering him a new anemone decoration as we are concerned his old decoration (a big coral-like rock with holes in it) may have been tearing his fins. Bettas seem to be able to defy our ability to totally figure them out. A number of people have told us of how their Betta loves to play with and sleep on anemone. Here's the link to what we're going to get all our bettas to play with: (Also a good site to order supplies from.)

If he's showing no signs of finrot yet, you could treat him with something milder like Fungus Clear if you're really concerned or (what i'd recommend) avoid meds for now and try to enhance his slime coating with something like NovAqua+, but get yourself stocked with some Fungus Clear, Maracyn-2 and/or TriSulfa, depending on how much your budget allows. then you'd be prepared should finrot ever come along.
 

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Our Betta has twice gnawed off about 1/4-inch of each of his pelvic fins.  The first time it happened, he was in a fish bowl.  The other time, he was in a 3-gallon Kritter Keeper.  On the first occasion, folks here thought it might be due to boredom, possibly stress.  When he's been in a tank with decorations and silk plants, he's not done this.

I have seen him chase his tail on a few occasions.  I believe it was fin rot-related and occurred on those occasions shortly after his tail would deteriorate.  After 24 hours or so, he would stop.  I think he was chasing his tail as it was irritating him, possibly from exposed nerves or itchiness.

I do know of one other member here who has posted about this kind of Betta behavior (in the past 5 months).  Maybe that person will have something to add.

If you can find nothing associated with the tail-chasing, I wonder if it might be related to boredom and swapping around a few tank items (plants and whatnot) might help?

Mike
 

COBettaCouple

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LZ Floyd said:
Our Betta has twice gnawed off about 1/4-inch of each of his pelvic fins. The first time it happened, he was in a fish bowl. The other time, he was in a 3-gallon Kritter Keeper. On the first occasion, folks here thought it might be due to boredom, possibly stress. When he's been in a tank with decorations and silk plants, he's not done this.

I have seen him chase his tail on a few occasions. I believe it was fin rot-related and occurred on those occasions shortly after his tail would deteriorate. After 24 hours or so, he would stop. I think he was chasing his tail as it was irritating him, possibly from exposed nerves or itchiness.

I do know of one other member here who has posted about this kind of Betta behavior (in the past 5 months). Maybe that person will have something to add.

If you can find nothing associated with the tail-chasing, I wonder if it might be related to boredom and swapping around a few tank items (plants and whatnot) might help?

Mike
Hmm.. that's very interesting information. I wonder if maybe Aslan could have started the fin-nipping because new tears on his fins irritated him. I can't believe we missed a spot on that big rock thing.. really thought it was safe. He did stop the apparent fin-nipping when he started having regrowth.
 

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I can't believe I never thought of this but tail biting could be Finley's issue.

I thought his finrot was back and was using a bit of bettafix but his tail doesn't look like the finrot he has before. It doesn't have that 'decay' look on the end, it is just rather shredded.
And we thought perhaps he was ripping his tail on some of the rocks so we took out all the ones that were not round.
But the problem still isn't solved.
Right now we having nothing high up in the tank, I'm going to see if walmart has any of the anemones for him to play in, or something more fun.
Looking into the tank I can definitely see how he might be bored, especially when we leave the office and turn of his light and don't return until the next morning.

Thank you for sharing this with us! This might be what is going on and it honestly had not even occured to me!
 

nmwierman1977

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My very first betta Mr. Red lived in a 1 gallon tank. It had an undergravel filter( which really stink as filters) and an airstone. No heater. He was in temps between 76-78 degrees. He was happy for about 3 month's and then after tat he started biting is tail. It was at that point I got him a 5 gallon hex with filter and heater. Of course he did so much damage to his tail that it was very hard to get it back to where it needed to be.Once I moved him into a bigger tank he was much happier. What size tank is he in? That could be te problem. Natalie
 

COBettaCouple

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Icicle said:
Right now we having nothing high up in the tank, I'm going to see if walmart has any of the anemones for him to play in, or something more fun.
Looking into the tank I can definitely see how he might be bored, especially when we leave the office and turn of his light and don't return until the next morning.
Our walmart never gets the anemone in & doesn't carry the tall ones.. - you can get it at the DFS site tho.
 
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griffin

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thanks for all the input!

i checked his levels, and they're all at zero except nitrates might be at like 1-2. pH is around 6.8-7.0.

i did a little rearranging, and i'm showing him a mirror more frequently now. he seems to have stopped biting, but i'm not sure if that's because he can't reach what's left or because he's actually stopped.

i do have some fungus clear on hand, but i hope i don't have to use it.

do you think that melafix or pimafix would be a good idea if i don't see any finrot (just as a preventative measure)?
 

LZ Floyd

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griffin said:
thanks for all the input!

i checked his levels, and they're all at zero except nitrates might be at like 1-2. pH is around 6.8-7.0.

i did a little rearranging, and i'm showing him a mirror more frequently now. he seems to have stopped biting, but i'm not sure if that's because he can't reach what's left or because he's actually stopped.

i do have some fungus clear on hand, but i hope i don't have to use it.

do you think that melafix or pimafix would be a good idea if i don't see any finrot (just as a preventative measure)?
Good on the water parameters, and hopefully a little rearranging helped his mindset.

I don't think the mirror is good to use, though.  Bettas get a little hot under the collar when seeing other Bettas and tend to get stressed by the affair.  They don't know the difference between a reflection of themselves and another Betta.  So the mirror presents them with an enemy. 

Melafix and Pimafix are basically poison to Bettas.  There's a a couple of warnings at the top of the Betta forum page warning against their use.  And, if you want more info, Google: Melafix, anabantoids.  While you may get some sites suggesting their use, these meds can kill a Betta and there are numerous sites with info for you to peruse.

If you're going to try something the JL Fungus Clear is a good drug to start with.  Maracyn 2 would be the next step.  But assuring good quality water is a good place to start.  If your Betta doesn't show signs of fin rot after a few days, you'll save some meds. 

Mike
 
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i'm going to wait until i actually see finrot before i start treating for it. however, i won't use melafix or pimafix on the betta.

i thought that showing a betta a mirror was a good thing? i read that it was recommended for exercise 1-2 times a day? i'll stop if it's not good for the betta though.
 

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If you need to start treating for fin rot, you might want to try Jungle Labs Fungus Clear for the first treatment and, if the tail rot continues, you can move on to progressively stronger meds from there.

AFA the mirror, yeah, they think their reflection is another Betta and it puts them into a fighting mode.  It can be stressful on the Betta and some claim that as little as a 10-minute exposure to a mirror can result in the Betta having a heart attack.

Mike
 
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well, the redecorating seems to have done the trick. he's not biting his tail anymore (at least for 1-2 days).

i had been showing him a mirror 1-2 times a day because i had read in multiple betta forums that it was good for them as exercise? i havn't shown him a mirror since lz floyd posted, but i was wondering, it is harmful or helpful for bettas to have short exposures to mirrors?
 

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The only time I show a betta a mirror is when I'm trying to get a good picture. Then, I only show it for the time it takes to snap a photo. Grim seems happy with out ever seeing a mirror. I don't think it's all that good for them. And they do fine without it, so why mess with it?
 

COBettaCouple

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griffin said:
i had been showing him a mirror 1-2 times a day because i had read in multiple betta forums that it was good for them as exercise? i havn't shown him a mirror since lz floyd posted, but i was wondering, it is harmful or helpful for bettas to have short exposures to mirrors?
It seems like everyone has an opinion on it.. some say it'll harm the Bettas if you do it too long, some say it's good exercise, some say it makes them feel superior to chase off 'another betta'.. etc..

We don't use a mirror on ours and they seem fine, happy and energetic and we see them doing 'laps' in their tanks, so they're getting exercise. We don't want to risk harming them and feel it's best to just skip the mirror thing altogether. But i think it's up to each owner to decide what's best as far as a mirror goes for each Betta. If you do use it, i'd say a few minutes every few days as too much definitely is harmful, just keep an eye on his flaring gills and if anything seems out of whack with them, stop using the mirror at all should you decide to give him mirror time.
 
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griffin

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sorry for the slow response. been a bit sick lately.

i'm thinking the redecorating did the trick. tail is showing some growth. i'm going to stop with the mirrors as well. only reason i was doing it was because i had heard that it would help them live longer. but if it's going to be detrimental, then there's no point.

thanks for all the help folks!
 

COBettaCouple

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hope you don't have finrot! seriously, hope you'll be on the mend yourself.

you hear all kinds of things about Bettas, huh? we even read someplace to keep the temp. cooler than 78 in a Betta tank to make them live longer. I figure make them happy, comfortable and take the best care of them that you can and that's the way to let them live their lives the best.
 
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